Terry Lee Hale


Terry Lee Hale is a man who’s traveled roads and years, across America and Europe. Born in Texas, one of the godfathers of the Seattle scene (the only singer-songwriter featured on the seminal ‘80s compilation Sub Pop 200) and now resident in Marseille, he’s been releasing albums for more than three decades.

For his new album, Terry Lee Hale takes stock of the chains of attachment in the modern day world. The songs of “Bound, Chained, Fettered” are life lessons. Truthful stories sung with a voice that reflects and carries the emotional weight of time, obstacles overcome and the earned wisdom. The sparse production enhances the melancholic vibe but what is revealed in the songs is positive and human. There is depth here not repetition or abstraction.

For the recording Terry Lee went to Italy to work with Antonio Gramentieri(and some of his friends) because ofhis admiration for Gramentieri’s own productions with the band Sacri Cuori. In Terry’s own words: “Antonio is a fantastic arranger, guitarist and lap steel player. It has been years since I’ve worked with another guitar player and the timing felt right for this new recording.” Even before entering the studio, Terry Lee Hale knew exactly how he wanted the music to sound and Antonio Gramentieri translated that vision into reality. A spare, open vibe with Terry’s voice always front and center was essential. All his parts were recorded live with Antonio adding his accompanying lines at the same time from the control booth. A live visceral, unvarnished energy is captured and magnified. The work ofMatt Emerson Brownas the mix engineer was huge in bringing forward a fresh perspective with a very modern mix. The album isbeautifully recorded, mixed and carefully mastered at Black Belt Mastering Studios (Rocky Votolato, Death Cab For Cutie, The Soft Hills) in Seattle, WA.

Bound, Chained, Fettered” is intimate, personal and emotionally engaging. Rather than the broad strokes that were painted with “The Long Draw”, this new collection is more direct and specific. Not a random collection but each part important for the other. It is sonically more adventuresome as well. Light percussions and low instruments added: synthesizer, piano, Hammond organ, bass clarinet, baritone sax, mellotron.

Musical touchstones might bring to mind the more current work of Howe Gelb (Giant Giant Sand), Bill Callahan, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Lou Reed or even Leonard Cohen.

This is not Americana, roots music or even rock and roll per say. This work is as individual and evocative as only a true original can be. A writer searching through the fractures and popular problems of an increasingly encroaching world. Writing about that journey and some of what is revealed is inside the lyrics and music.

“Bound, Chained, Fettered” is a collection of nine musical vignettes. Each related to the other, Terry Lee Hale delves into the mystery and confusions of our modern lives. The title track is somber look at a long list of encumbrances holding our hero back. “The Lowdown“ is a gentle nudge and look at a digital ties that bind. “Signed Blue Angel”, a poem written by the 8 year old daughter of one Hales’ best friends, set to music is not about fear but a song full of grace, wisdom and joy.

Terry Lee Hale’s newest record “Bound, Chained, Fettered” is a master class of songwriting performed by an artist still pushing emotional if not musical boundaries. A modern production with Hale’s voice always the focus, “Bound, Chained, Fettered” is uncluttered, elegant and compelling. Ambitious in its reach and execution, this is Terry Lee Hale at his very best. Quite possibly his best recorded work to date. Impressive and timeless.


The Gristle & Bone Affair buy item

Terry Lee Hale

The Gristle & Bone Affair

Release Date: 09/02/2022 · Format: CD/LP/Digital · Cat-No: GRLP/CD 1060

An album counts the miles and years. It’s a set of stories about people, about emotions and follies, and triumphs. About the changes in life. The Gristle & Bone Affair , Terry Lee Hale ’s 14th record, the second he’s made in his home...
read more

Bound, Chained, Fettered buy item

Terry Lee Hale

Bound, Chained, Fettered

Release Date: 08/04/2016 · Format: CD/LP (+CD) · Cat-No: GRCD/LP 871

Terry Lee Hale is a man who’s traveled roads and years, across America and Europe. Born in Texas, one of the godfathers of the Seattle scene (the only singer-songwriter featured on the seminal ‘80s compilation Sub Pop 200) and now resident...
read more

Terry Lee Hale